A flower in a flowerpot

Bassim

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Would you please correct the mistakes in my short story?

Whenever Joan wanted to start an argument with Michael, she would come home with a flower in a flowerpot, after which Michael would fly into rage. He would throw at the floor the newspaper he was reading, jump from the armchair and shout, "We've already hundreds of flowers in our home. Don't you have any better idea how to spend my hard-earned money?" She was silent, but he knew she was laughing behind his back, enjoying that she could annoy him. After more than 35 years of marriage, life had become unexciting and sex almost non-existent. Without teasing him, Joan would die of boredom. She would have left him years ago, but she needed his money. Without it, she wouldn't be able to go on her shopping rounds and splash out on luxuries as well on trinkets. She had to buy anything and everything to get a thrill. She didn't love Michael any more, but she loved his money. The more she spent of it, the more it gave her satisfaction.

Michael picked the paper and sat again in the armchair. His eyes swept the room, where every centimetre seems to be covered in flowers. They were spreading in all directions, stopping sunlight from entering the room and making it dark even in the bright sunshine. Their smells and scents wafted from everywhere into his nostrils and made him dizzy all the time. His breath smelled of flowers, his skin and hair, and even food and drinks. If he were aggressive, the things would turn differently, but he preferred peace instead of conflict, although the older he was becoming, the angrier he felt. To his dismay, he was turning into a irascible old man.

As he listened to Joan singing merrily in the kitchen while cooking lunch, a brilliant idea hit upon him. He was going to collect weapons, just as she collected flowers. Tomorrow, he will buy his first Glock. Once, his friend Philip showed him his and praised its qualities. Michael never before held a weapon in his hand, but he had to admit that the pistol was comforting in a strange way. It gave him a feeling of power. Philip offered to take him to a shooting range, but Michael refused. He was afraid he would disgrace himself, his hand would start shaking, and he would be unable to pull the trigger. Some years had passed since then and Michael was more confident than before. He would ask Philip to go with him to the shop and help him choose the gun. He admired his friend in many ways. Recently he had become a widower after his wife drowned under suspicious circumstances. According to Philip, Magda fell off the ferry and drowned when they travelled in the Adriatic Sea. They were both drunk and drunk people fall off ferries, boats and yachts all the time. Michael believed that Philip if not had shoved her, then at least had nudged her a bit so that she lost her balance and tumbled into the choppy water, but the court believed in his innocence, and Michael didn’t have audacity to ask him if he had in any way contributed to Magda’s death.

She had an unruly mind, forcing Philip to travels around the world. He couldn’t let her travel alone for fear of what could have happened to her, but she made him exasperated. He trotted behind her like a dog while she hiked in Bhutan, Canada, France and Montenegro. He followed her to Switzerland where she enjoyed paragliding. He paid for all the expensive equipment, clothes and special watches. Although he never complained about that, Michael sensed his friend’s frustration. When she was younger, Magda had an attractive body and Philip liked to show her off whenever he went, but the time had transformed such a great figure into the thick layers of fat. Michael suspected that their sex life was poor, but at least Magda had not bothered to collect flowers. After her death, Philip started to go out, see much younger women and he enjoyed life as he never did before. He told Michael that life starts when you are seventy.

Philip knew what he was doing, and he should follow his example. Once he got his Glock, he would line up flowerpots in the back garden and practice his shooting on them. It would be a pleasure watching them being blown to shards and flying all over the place. His Glock would spray them into the dust and the past.
Joan would come back from town, carrying another of her flowerpots, and he would delight in her reaction. There would be no more flowers, no pervasive smells and scents. There would be no arguments and no mocking laughs. He would tell the police that was an accident. Shooting accidents happen all the time, especially if you are an inexperienced shooter. Then a new life would begin. It couldn’t be better.
THE END
 

Tarheel

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First paragraph. Second sentence. Say:

He would throw the newspaper on the floor, spring from the armchair.....

You could also say jump up.

I want you to tell me what should be changed about the first sentence. (Hurry before teechar comes by. ;-) )
 

Bassim

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Tarheel,

I wish I could tell you with certainty what is wrong with the first sentence, but I believe I can't. Maybe I should drop a comma after "after Michael"?
 

Tarheel

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Whenever she would buy another flower in a flower pot Michael would fly into a rage.
 

Tarheel

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Perhaps:

We've already got hundreds of flowers in the house. Don't you have a better way to spend my hard-earned money?
 

Tarheel

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Next sentence(s). Perhaps:

She was silent, but Michael knew she was amused, taking pleasure in her ability to get his goat.

And:

Without it she wouldn't be able to go on shopping sprees and splurge on luxuries as well as trinkets.

And:

The more she spent of it the more satisfaction it gave her.
 

Tarheel

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Second paragraph. Say:

Michael picked the paper up and sat down in the armchair. His eyes swept the room, where every centimetre seemed to be buried in flowers.

Got to go!
 

Tarheel

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You can also say:

picked up the paper

It's a phrasal verb which is variable. (I made that up, but you get the idea.)
 

Tarheel

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Third paragraph. First sentence. Say:

As he listened to Joan singing merrily in the kitchen while cooking lunch a brilliant idea hit him.
 

Tarheel

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Next sentence(s). Say:

Tomorrow he would buy his first Glock.

And:

Michael had never before held a weapon in his hand....

And:

He was afraid he would disgrace himself, his hand would shake, and he would be unable to pull the trigger.
 

Tarheel

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Next sentence(s). Perhaps:

He would ask Philip to go with him and help him choose a gun.

And:

Michael believed that if Philip didn't shove her then at least he nudged her a bit so that she lost her balance and tumbled into the choppy water, but the court believed in his innocence, and Michael didn't have the audacity to ask him if he had in any way contributed to Magda's death.
 

Tarheel

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We need to revisit the previous paragraph (paragraph two). For the last two sentences, say:

If he were aggressive things would be different, but he preferred peace and quiet to conflict, although the older he became the angrier he felt. To his dismay, he was turning into an irascible old man.
 

Tarheel

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Fourth paragraph. Perhaps:

She had an unruly mind, forcing Philip to travel around the world. He couldn't let her travel alone for fear of what could happen to her, but she made him exasperated. (Or: she exasperated him.)

And:

Although Philip never complained, Michael sensed his friend's frustration.
 

Tarheel

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Next sentence(s). Perhaps:

When she was younger, Magda had an attractive body, and Philip liked to show her off wherever he went, but time had transformed that great figure into layers of fat.

And:

After her death, Michael went out, saw much younger women and enjoyed life as he never had before. He told Michael life starts at seventy.

:up:
 

Tarheel

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Can you guess what I might change about the last paragraph? (Hint: alliteration.)
 

Bassim

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Tarheel,

Do you mean " smells and scents"?
 

Tarheel

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No. The phrase "being blown to shards" is fine, but "being blown to bits" appeals to me because of the alliteration.
 
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